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DESKTOP PUBLISHING 101

Written By: Blur Loterina

Do you often pay a service bureau to print your document? If you want to save money and time, read this page.

The last part of a typical desktop project is the printing process. If youre practical enough, youll know that this end part is the very first thing that youll have to consider.

Before you start creating your document file, think and determine first how a commercial printer will reproduce it. Remember that presses use different requirements and techniques.

Determine first what color to use, it may require either process or spot colors. For documents with screens and photographs that include tints or grayscales, you must set the screen frequency and angle. Find out what type of material to use for your output. Ask whether your document has to be printed on paper or on film. Paper is not ideal for document with over 100 line screens. If you must use a film, determine whether to use negative or positive, right-reading emulsion side up or down. Ask for professional advise if you do not know how to scan a photos properly.

Then, learn more about the service bureau that will output you file. Identify what platform and software does the company uses. Ask if it supports the software you are using. Make sure that both you and your service bureau are using the same program to eliminate incompatibilities. Ask what imagesetter suits your document and what driver or Postscript printer description (PPD) file is appropriate.

Companies use either PostScript fonts or TrueType fonts. For faster and less complicated processing, use fonts that are installed on both systems. For special marks and characters, know what works for you and the company.

If your document includes program files, you can install the imagesetter driver on your system and set it correctly. In this way, your service bureau will not have to open the program files. Thus, resulting to a faster output and incompatibility in software and fonts will be reduced.

Link complicated graphics files rather than embed them. Discuss on what resolution your scanned photos and images must have. Check the standard and maximum sheet the image setter can output.

Now, you can create the template. A template refers to a document file that contains the basic layout and paragraph styles. In making the template, consider the information that youve gathered regarding the printed output and your service bureau.

When the template is complete, test it. When youre satisfied with the output, save it and name it so you can easily identify it. If possible review your document before handling it over to the service bureau.

These basic steps will help you, your printer and your service bureau save time and money.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit http://www.ucreative.com

About the Author

You may wonder why I write articles. Besides from the fact that its my job, I used to write short stories when I was younger. I think it would be helpful if I said Im a big fan of Zach de la Rocha and Rage Against the Machine. This would explain my own views about a lot of things. Their songs were about national issues, politics and human rights.

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